In my binge reading of Mimi Matthews books, I saved her first book as the last in my binge reading. I loved seeing how her writing evolved over the books and reading this one last was a treat.
While her writing might have evolved, all the hallmarks that make me love her books are evident in each and every book from the beginning. Snappy, humorous dialogue, elegant settings, memorable characters, and glorious romantic tension.
This book definitely had a Beauty and the Beast feel and I couldn’t get enough of it. Even though it was short (more of a novel length at just over 200 pages), it felt like a fully realized novel. Needless to say, I flew through it!
A PROUD BEAUTY
Society beauty Sylvia Stafford is far too pragmatic to pine. When the tragic death of her gamester father leaves her destitute and alone, she finds work as a governess in a merchant’s household in Cheapside. Isolated from the fashionable acquaintance of her youth, she resigns herself to lonely spinsterhood until a mysterious visitor convinces her to temporarily return to her former life–and her former love.
A SCARRED BEAST
Colonel Sebastian Conrad is no longer the dashing cavalry officer Sylvia once fell in love with. Badly scarred during the Sepoy Rebellion, he has withdrawn to his estate in rural Hertfordshire where he lives in near complete seclusion. Brooding and tormented, he cares nothing for the earldom he has inherited–and even less for the faithless beauty who rejected him three years before.
A SECOND CHANCE
A week together in the remote Victorian countryside is the last thing either of them ever wanted. But when fate intervenes to reunite them, will a beastly earl and an impoverished beauty finally find their happily-ever-after? Or are some fairy-tale endings simply not meant to be? (summary from Goodreads)
I absolutely loved this book. For its length, I thought it worked really well for the two main characters to have a history already established. It was clear that at one point the two of them had romantic feelings for each other and it made their story so much more believable and it fit nicely into the length of this story.
Sylvia’s character was so enjoyable. She didn’t have the silliness of a young girl, though she was innocent, she had her own struggles and life experiences that have matured her beyond her years. I loved that quality in her. As for Sebastian, he was a total asshole the begin with. I didn’t even like him all together too much, but gradually her grew on me and in the end he turned into quite the hero.
I absolutely adored the was in which Sebastian declared himself. It was horribly romantic and I felt that it fit so nicely in the narrative. It was charming and dashing but yet fit their romance well.
I now see why historical romances can become so addicting! I love the happily ever after and drama in between and in this book Matthews shines with her writing, true to period descriptions, and above all, the romance!
2 thoughts on “Review: The Lost Letter by Mimi Matthews”
Hallo, Hallo Anne,
With all the migraines I’ve had in the past few years, I can never remember where I am in the status of Mimi Matthews! I *know!* I once attempted to add her Gaslight story to my local library’s card catalogue and I remember (vaguely) tweeting about following up if that was either a) added or b) didn’t get accepted and I should re-request it? The puzzling bit is how to clevelry keep sorting out how to get authors to read outside my local library as our whole ILL service is on sabbatical. Like almost indefinitely at this point as they have NO SET PLAN OF RENEWAL. I made that bold to empathsis how much that wrecked my library hauls and regular reads. *le sigh*
Outside of that bit of woefulness, I wanted to read your review as I’ve been trying to sort out which of her stories I need to be reading (*like yesterday*) on the lark chance I do find them locally to borrow and/or if I need to make more purchase requests!!
Beauty and the Beast? OOh I wish I had known,… I was seeking out after canon stories for fairy tales recently and I could have added this one to my list. Of course, I need to write up a discussion post about seeking out after canon sequels and retellings – part of me has the mind to do this for next year when the A to Z Challenge swings through the blogosphere as it would be a good chance to “talk” to my readers about all the genres and subniches of literature I love exploring — that was the original plan of action when I first attempted A to Z, anyway! lol
I’ve read only a handful of retellings for this story – each one was uniquely different from the last but my favourite has to be Sarah E. Boucher’s “Becoming Beauty” (you’ll find it in my Story Vault).
The period details are what pull me into #HistRom myself! 🙂 I am over the moon in LOVE with the styling authors paint the background of their romances — this one feels like a good place to begin my journey! Thanks for giving me those reactions and those moments of angst in-line with how the story unfolds! Sounds like she made a good entry into the after canons for this Classic!